Competition Begets Violence

One of the things I like about Google News is that I can register topics which I’m interested in and get personalized news related to these topics delivered to my inbox each day. I enjoy watching the trends in reporting and comparing perceived importance of “threats” as reported in the news. For instance, it’s always interesting (in a depressing sort of way) to see how news related to celebrities always gets more coverage than humanitarian disasters. Brad & Angelina’s child birthing process is apparently more important than say, massacres of civilians in Iraq.

A topic I obviously enjoy is the current demonization of video games by certain political and public figures in the US. For instance:

900 articles related to “video game violence”
100 of those contain “thompson”
100 of them contain “clinton”

That means that 1 in 9 of the articles related to game violence owes part of their existence to anti-game campaigns being run Jack Thompson and Hillary Clinton. And NONE of these articles talk about any link to real world violence being committed as a result of video games. They talk about video games being a source of evil and how video games corrupt the youth. But nowhere do I read about these supposedly corrupt youth actually causing any violence.

I already know that video game violence is an invented issue which is being used by people like Clinton and Thompson to generate awareness for their names, which ultimately translates into power (financial and political). What boggles my mind is that the press continues to report on this non-topic.

Let’s compare a fake issue to a real issue:
2,300 articles related to “football violence”

Domestic Abuse Linked to World Cup

Incidents of women being beaten by their partners in Northern Ireland will rise during the World Cup, a senior officer has warned.

Assistant Chief Constable Duncan McCausland said police had analysed previous international football tournaments and discovered a disturbing trend where the number of reports of domestic violence rises sharply.

Violent World Cup Fans Arrested

More than 300 people have been arrested following the worst violence of the 2006 World Cup so far, when drunken German and Polish fans clashed in the centre of Dortmund.

Here are two articles that make clear a link between World Cup Soccer and real world violence. People are beating their wives and smashing skulls. This stuff is graphic, real-world violence. People are injured, sometimes even killed as a result of this global sporting phenomenon.

How about this one:

American Idol Debate Turns Violent

Cory K. Favreau, 24, of 200A Margaret St. was discussing the television show “American Idol” with his mother, Jan M. Chagnon, on May 24 at about 10:15 p.m., according to Plattsburgh City court record.

At that time, Chagnon told Favreau that a particular contestant, Katharine McPhee, was going to have a successful career despite losing to another contestant, Taylor Hicks.

Favreau allegedly stood up, made a malicious comment to his mother and struck her in the head with a sharpened, cross-shaped object attached to a bicycle chain.

Guy strikes his mother with a bicycle chain? WTF.

Bottom line: people commit violence against one another for any reason, or sometimes for no reason at all. Regulation of media is never going to solve this issue. Not even a Clinton run police state of absolute social control can make violence go away. Competitiveness is often closely associated with violence. From an early age it is taught to us by parents and teachers using tests, sports, and social situations. Rivalry and fear are bred into us. Modern society is the result. Madness and violence are the side effects.
People like Clinton and Thompson, if they were truly interested in making a difference with regards to violence, would set aside their politically motivated attacks on media and focus instead on society’s basic ills.

But then, they too are stuck in the cycle of competition, playing the big game, and trying to win.

7 responses to “Competition Begets Violence”

  1. I seen to remember an article about some house being robbed, but the robbers were scared off when they heard police sirens, which turned out to be from the TV. The guy being robbed had been playing GTA on his xbox, and had gone into the other room, where he had been confronted by the robbers. Now, I wasn’t able to find this story again, but I think I saw it on Reuters Oddly Enough. This is the kind of news that should be highlighted! 😛

    “Competitiveness is often closely associated with violence. From an early age it is taught to us by parents and teachers using tests, sports, and social situations. Rivalry and fear are bred into us. Modern society is the result. Madness and violence are the side effects.”

    A very important point… it brings up interesting viewpoints on capitalism and human nature.

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  3. Another page in the battle, some moderately good news, though the fight is far from over.

  4. I performed a sociolgy experiment with violent games and moral reactions. I had children under the M rated age play 1 hour of Grand theft auto. Now before hand i asked them morality questions with basic right or wrong answers. After that hour i asked them another set of questions of similar nature but in varying in the the liklyness of the the situations.
    Now heres the interesting part! 100% of subjects morality increased after playing G.T.A. for an hour by 20%! I even asked the secound quetions while they were still playing to see if they blurred the “reality” line.
    Even more interesting was the fact that kids who answered more morally PLAYED more violenty, with up tp 5x more arrest deaths and random murders! This all points to the conclusion that these sort of games are a good way for ppl to vent every day stress into a world of FICTION! Futhermore all this talk on kids who play violent games are more likely to commit acts of violence are just stupid. The likelyness of ALL people commiting viloent acts has been increasing sense the late 1800’s

  5. So now you are trying to find out what makes violence instead of making the game??? ADD seems to be an issue with you.

  6. -sigh- Oh, you silly politicians. Ignore all other evidence brought up to you because it’s only VIDEO GAMES that are the spawn of everything evil in the world.

    Jeez. I mean, take Grand Theft Auto, for example. The carjacking rate in the country has actually gone DOWN since the game was released. Yeah, /down/. Wouldn’t it make sense that the would-be carjackers are getting their kicks from the game instead of going out and doing it on the street?

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